In his legal career, Luke has used his innovative problem-solving skills to defend commercial cases, product liability cases and personal injury and premises liability cases brought in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He has litigated thousands of cases in trial and appellate courts and has tried over thirty cases to verdict, with many taking over a week to try, and several taking three weeks or more to complete. His sense of humor and imaginative approach to litigation give him the ability to work easily with clients and see cases with a unique perspective.
Among those trials have been the successful defenses of occupational cancer and other serious injury cases, as well as the defense of several multi-million dollar contract claims. Luke is also a member of the LinkedIn “Million Dollar Trial Lawyers” group for having won more than a million dollars for a client in litigation.
He approaches cases with an eye open for unconventional defenses. In one class-action case filed in state court with a potential class of thousands, the case was removed successfully to federal court even though the plaintiffs’ alleged claims were of a type that is specifically non-removable under federal law. Then the case was dismissed for failure to state a claim. In another group of cases, he used an extraordinary writ to get a venue issue before the West Virginia Supreme Court, which then adopted a new Common-law venue doctrine for the State. In another class of cases in which plaintiffs had settled and released earlier injury claims but later brought cases alleging related but more serious injuries, he successfully counter-claimed to use their releases not only as a defense but also as a contract requiring plaintiffs to indemnify his client for its expenses incurred in defending itself from their cases.
Luke has written legal articles, and his quick-wit and significant experience make him a favorite speaker at legal seminars.
- West Virginia University College of Law (J.D., 1984)
- Foundation Scholar
- West Virginia University (B.S., cum laude, 1981)
- Political Science
- West Virginia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
- West Virginia State Bar
- Cabell County Bar Association
- Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, board member
- National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
- Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, West Virginia Chapter, president
- Vice president of the Catholic Bar Association
- Former member of the Defense Research Institute
- 4.5 Gallon Red Cross blood donor
- Best Lawyers®
- "Lawyer of the Year" in West Virginia for Railroad Law
- Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, Railroad Law (2021-2022)